A DYSERTH woman with epilepsy has suffered a bleed on her brain after being attacked by a seagull in Rhyl.

Julie Holroyd, 57, was told by a doctor at Glan Clwyd Hospital that she narrowly avoided brain damage after the bird caused her to fall and hit her head outside the Lorne Hotel on Rhyl High Street.

Now, seven days since she was attacked, Mrs Holroyd cannot wash or comb her hair due to the pain, and is frightened of returning to Rhyl town centre.

“I was out in town paying my bills and doing my shopping when I had a sandwich, in a box, in my hand,” she said.

“The seagull went straight for me, past my eyes towards my mouth and I just fell backwards on my heels and whacked my head on the concrete.

“My friend Rita, who I sometimes buy shopping for, was sitting on a bench near Poundland and she heard the crack from across the road.

“I went to Glan Clwyd Hospital about 45 minutes later and was told that I’d suffered a bleed on the outside of my brain, and that if it had been on the middle of my brain, I’d be brain damaged.”

Mrs Holroyd also suffered significant bruising around the inside of her skull and her scalp, which she has been told will take between three to four months to go down.

She added: “If I have an itch on my head, I can’t scratch it and I couldn’t even eat for a few days afterwards.

“I’ve been terrified the fall could trigger my fits, on top of stress of coronavirus and the fact that my husband Dylan is on furlough.

“I still have to go in to Rhyl, but I’m really wary of all the seagulls - it’s frightening. I was on the promenade on Saturday morning and I saw one swoop at a mother with a little child. I’ve also been told that another person was attacked by a load of them on Tuesday morning.”

Mrs Holroyd has been attacked by a seagull in the past in Llandudno, but claims that she has had no further issues inthe town has erected signs warning visitors not to feed the gulls.

“I don’t understand why they can’t do the same in Rhyl,” she said. “There’s barely anything in the town centre apart from a tiny sign on the Town Hall. When I was on the prom, we didn’t see anything from the Blue Bridge to the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

"The council have to do something, they’re more vicious than ever and people like me can’t keep hiding in bus stops to avoid them when we want to have a sandwich. while the shops are all closed.”

A Denbighshire County council spokesman said: “The council has been running a campaign over the last few years, encouraging people not to feed seagulls.

“That campaign has involved posters in local shops, social media activity and press coverage. We have also appealed to business owners to make sure they have bins for disposing of food and that those bins are covered.

“The issues with seagulls is something relevant to all coastal communities and we are always looking at different ways of getting the message out there.”